SXSW returns to Texas after a three-year hiatus

SXSW returns to Texas after a three-year hiatus

Ah… can you smell it? The Tito’s and BBQ, confetti, taco trucks and the vague wafting of generator gas from tech popup trucks on every street corner… there’s free food, even free drinks if you really go looking! Music on every block. People swarming in the streets, checking out a Mini Cooper driving around in a giant bubble… or, the latest hovercraft drone technology flying loops overhead. Art and artists are hidden in every nook and cranny. There’s a guy and a grand piano over there, belting out an Elton John medley. Austin’s best and brightest mingle with film, tech, music and comedy superstars. Big corporations and bright-eyed entrepreneurs bump elbows in the dark recesses of Austin’s best small music venues. People drop hype words like dollar bills at a strip club… NFTs, Metaverse, the Givingscape, mutuals. But, that’s precisely what you’re supposed to do when you fly into Texas’ finest city to partake in the yearly tradition that is SXSW.

Welcome, my friends, to the long-awaited SouthBy 2022.

It feels like it’s been a decade since we last found ourselves enthralled by a private CHVRCHES set at Antone’s on 5th, after catching an indie band blow up a random basement we’d never heard of. Before that, we saw Olivia Wilde at a film screening on Congress and Bill Murray showed up to the steps of The Driskill for an impromptu sing-along. Ah, yes… the last real SXSW was a whopping three years ago. But, it might as well have been 23!

This year’s SX promises only the best of film, comedy, tech, music and entrepreneurship… and inspiration. But, let’s face it — we’re here for the music. SX consistently provides us with an unshakable smorgasbord of new music we’ve never (or only slightly) heard of. Their booking team has a particular talent for sourcing the very bands that somehow consistently become our new favorite thing. Every year. How do they do it? 

This year, they’ve pulled another lineup that’s as diverse as it is tantalizing (read: HIGHLY, on both counts). There are a few Austin favorites: don’t miss Eric Tessmer (solid, groovy rock n’ roll), Kydd Jones (Hip hop/rap), Ley Line (sultry girl-power folk), Pleasure Venom (delicious punk rock) or Western Youth (flawless Americana). And, if you really want an insider’s take on who to see, catch Being Dead, underground punk superstars A Giant Dog and Tomar & the FCs. You won’t regret it for a second. But, of course the real draw of SX is that they talent comes in from all over the world. The variety of music from Australia, Europe, Asia and North/Central/South America is almost too much to take in. Srsly, check out the insane list.

And, when you’ve written a 10-page list of which artists you can’t afford to miss from March 11th through the 20th, start your Austin To-Do List. Don’t you dare miss out on BBQ at Blacks, Beer at Bangers, pizza at Via313, a latte at Radio Coffee & Beer, a minimum of 25 tacos at any given mom-and-pop taco truck (yes, you can split those up over several days… but, we’re betting you’ll do it in two). Work all that food off with a jog (walk?) around Town Lake where you can also play ‘spot the celebrity’ and/or ‘Homeless or Hipster?’ all at once. See you there! We’ll be the ones dancing our faces off in the front row.

Top Shelf curated SXSW 2022 playlist:

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